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Jon Meacham Education. (2012) 'Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power.' New.

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Washington 12, Hamilton 8, Virginia 7, America 6, Thomas Jefferson 6, Louisiana 6, Us 5, Jackson 4, Alexander Hamilton 4, Mr. Jefferson 3, Jon Adams 3, Europe 2, London 2, England 2, France 2, Clinton 2, Edmund Burke 2, Adams 2, Kennedy 2, Acheson 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Jon Meacham  Education.  (2012)  
   'Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power.' New.  

    December 16, 2012
    10:00 - 10:20pm EST  

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spectrum in the universe to do all this video by broadband. the architecture which is one-to-one, the system will always fail because of the congestion of transmitting video one-to-one. you can't do that. .. talked about and he murmured about the committee of safety which was the revolutionary body to commit the state. we have reports that he did his hand like this as though he were writing the declaration again. so the jury and his mind would return to the beginning to the things that had driven him and made him whole for which he would have given his life at any point. i love the old story about the very big heavy benjamin harrison and little elbert at the signing of the declaration in those days in july and august of 1776. when they get caught it will all be over for me and i will hang faster. you will dingell for days. they fought tower of london was a real possibility. jefferson's attack sometimes and a lot of the time for fleeing monticello when the british are
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graduated from the monthly when she could buy entrees and appetizers and restaurants so she spent money here but i will try to fix that. i am enormously grateful. i am a southerner from tennessee and think that understanding contingent moment. he was able to get the votes and cut the deal in part because of his lifelong political the education. he began as a young man in williamsburg and listened to patrick henry hu said he spoke as homer wrote partly because he couldn't do it and it's always a good sign of a politician and a leader when they recognize qualities in others that they do not possess which is always that coming to it another way of looking at is that he wise least it becoming a prisoner of war and so the british to the mint when the propaganda of the victory in the author of the declaration of independence and the governor of virginia, and carting him off in handcuffs. if anybody could have charmed their captor it would have been jefferson. he might have ended up in the cabinet over there but it was he was an awfully provisional and
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jefferson in his regional context as well as national context and political context is an important. he was a master of politics whether it was an ideologically driven or geographically driven and i think there is something resident about a ferociously divided atmosphere, big issues at stake, and a president who's tall, cool, cerebral pretty good at politics but doesn't like to add met having to govern in a kind of humility, however a lot of that term is in talking about the species called politicians is a virtue. he learned how to master the ways and means of politics. when the purchase became open and the possibility as you will remember basically napoleon is going to sell this to us and of fractious atmosphere there's something that seems familiar about that. so, i want to do too quick stories about jefferson to give you two sides of him very quickly. matthew davis, an office seeker from new york goes to monticello to fit in the city even now, travels to lobby for the job, he was a burr loyalist. the greatest deals ever. in 1803 he begins to think we have to amend the constitution to do it because he was a strict constructionist. he had followed alexander hamilton of the broad presidential powers, then about the third week of august 1803, was the fourth of july the third week of august he gets a letter from france saying they are having second thoughts and so jefferson's is i think we do have the power, no problem
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jefferson, not so much a loyalist as we know. i should quickly add one of these i say to my hamiltonian friends is at least my guy didn't get shot in jersey. [laughter] among the founders to have sent e-mails is alexander hamilton what thomas jefferson and one to get on the record and then move on if he's sitting there pleading his case and jefferson there. when he was taking the critical steps to preparing us and providing aid to britain in the run-up to the great contest of for liberty in the middle of the 20th century explicitly pointed to the louisiana purchase as a model for the executives in a time of crisis the duty of the magistrate is the line of law but it is not the highest duty is looking sort of blow seng in that vaguely charming we had. he's not like fdr that you can leave. anyone that left his company thought he agreed with them. it's to get for the moment and not such a great way to get through the day as it turns out to he is my contact with davis and goes, grabs the fly it begins pulling apart. with the survival and the success of the country is your highest obligation. one person's presidency is another person's hero. one person's tierney is another person's early and reform. it is a to the excess of power used in a way that we approve and in some generations there's the to be in excess of power
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davis begins to realize that man of for quite as well as he hoped. a second story. there you have the man that can snap a fly, pulled apart and ferociously focused when he needs to be to read often making you thinking he is not focused. he traveled through. it was a couple of days' ride from monticello to washington. he stopped at an inn and falls into a conversation with a used in ways the we would fight to the death against. that's the way history has unfolded in history is on the right side of that. a second term, early second term president might be able to take from jefferson. one goes to louisiana which is jefferson understood the clock wasn't like a normal clock. fellow guest and they have a lovely, wide ranging discussion the next morning the other guest mr. jefferson is up and out and the other guest had never called his name and he said to the inn keeper who was that and he said who did you think it was? for a while and you knew so much about medicine i thought he was a doctor. then we talked about theology and he seemed as though he might be a priest though a shaky one. i thought he could have been certainly a farmer because of it moved faster and asked the president's clock ticks even in the first term, everybody else in the system, the congressmen, senators, their clocks are ticking towards election. they have to face the voters again particularly in the second term presidents don't have to. so as presidents began to look longer, everyone else in the system begins to look more narrow and the wider the gap gets, the harder it is to get
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everything he knew and he said i thought you knew mr. jefferson. he was a master of so many different worlds and he was indefinitely curious at the time when human curiosity and the ability to lead us to our own destiny to fulfil in many ways our greatest potentials to discover, to explore was new in the world and this was the enlightened era. things done. so moving fast, doing things as quickly as you reasonably can is an important thing to do. the other is to depart from dogma. jefferson fundamentally believe in the success come in the survival of america. he what, short of that he would cut any deal. he would do what he had to do. and he was very explicit and spoke in modern terms about it. he says that what is practical must control what is pure they had been a day before yesterday. for the first time ever, priestley and princely authority was in the dhaka, and jefferson was there to reap the harvest of the shift, the fundamental shift and was able to take the intellectual life and breakthroughs of the enlightenment in europe and scotland and apply them in many ways to american politics. self-government was only going to work in jefferson's mind if the people who were governing theory, and it is the habits of the governed the often determined what is practical. the habits of the governed that depend what is practical. this is not an eerie pantry me woman francophile which is what alexander hamilton and jon adams wanted to think he was treated this as a hard-nosed politician who did what he had to do to make sure the call for which he
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themselves knew themselves, cared about each other because why would you sacrifice with someone for whom you had no common interest, and you could find that your individual rights and your individual being had come from nature or god and therefore couldn't be taking away from the hand of a king or the hands of a mob in the this is the moment that he embodies. its hierarchical moment to be had nearly all his life would survive and thrive. the other thing that is important for the president is you not only have to reach out your own across the aisle but you have to actually enjoy yet. it's politics is a hell of a business to go into if you don't like people. there is another book to be written by someone about why introverts tend to be such drawn so to politics. alive in that very hour, a hugely important so here you have jefferson who could kill a fly when he needs to and who could think of the most fundamental way when he needs to. one hell of a combination. what i wanted to do in revisiting jefferson obviously was try to restore him to his context as a politician partly because i think politics gets too bad of a wrap these days. i offer richard nixon. mr. gregarious as an example to i think our incumbent president -- i said the slight possibility he might be having more fun when he is watching george w. bush sports package for himself in the room than talking to the members of congress. just a guess. but he's got to move beyond that
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it may deserve a city bad rap but i don't want to be overly optimistic. we don't have any other way to govern ourselves and until we find something and we haven't found anything until the last gathering of the caveman on the savannah who were trying to figure out how not to throw rocks at each other, politics is all we have to work out our common interests and to try to move forward together. you do tend to give someone the benefit of the doubt if you sat down come if you had a meal together it just gets a little harder to be totally cross. almost every night when congress was in session, thomas jefferson had lawmakers. so even if jefferson, someone who wanted to be remembered, remember on the tombstone the declaration of independence, the author of the statute for religious liberty in virginia and the founder of the university of virginia, he wanted us to remember him for his ideas. it's one of the great actors of misdirection in american history. it is the kaiser of epitaphs. he sent us off to a place where he did not have republicans and federalists saw we could all sit around like some symbols and issue a plenary report. that wasn't what he was doing. he was the chief magistrate and it worked. beginning in about 1803 he comes to washington thinking that
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prosperity would focus on the quality, liberty and enlightenment. hard to argue about those things. those are pretty good things. she didn't mention that for 40 years from the time he was 25 until he was about 65, from 17609089 he was constantly in public office or thinking about getting back into public office. thomas jefferson is like mrs. smith fought was evil, this terrible thing, bad for america. jefferson has been over for dinner again. by the end of the second term the are exchanging recipes. [laughter] they are talking about how they will plant pecans on their farms and their children's children will play beneath the trees that they have planted. one of my many character falls is i like politicians. i think i'm working on it. [laughter] my name is jon and i have a problem. [laughter] but i admire the men and women in the arena to try to make things better and they are not in and for the motives but i don't know about dewaal i'm not sure that my motives are that you're either, so if we try to six years he would have voted to impeach the guy and was a case where the politics called the science of human relationships paid off. and i think it is hugely important. dinner doesn't always end well. you can talk to jesus about that. [laughter] never mind. never mind about that.
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look back and expected the people we think about and talk about to be totally perfect or we are not going to think about the more we are just going to demonize them or denounce them then we are going to foreclose the possibility of learning from the past. i don't know about you all but i learned a lot more from sinner's than from saints and thomas jefferson was certainly a sinner. and his ability to master the that's not here. [laughter] last thing quickly. the politics of hope every successful american president has convinced us that the president is really an investment and a sacrifice in a moment isn't simply to the austere, but to make tomorrow better than today. whatever they can, they will conjecture sensitive americans. best part of his political being, his ability to charm, to make people fall in love with and without knowing why, which is one definition of charm. he was in the drawing room of margaret smith's wonderful early chronicler of washington and she missed his name as he came in and she had come from a federal list family that fought jefferson was the devil. so she's sitting there and finds herself falling in love with this charming man whose eyes he said i like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past which is very painful for me because i like of course. but he was able to project a vision of a reality that we couldn't see that he wanted us to reach and i think that is absolutely essential. as i said we always learn more from the centers and from saints his role in the perpetuation and protection of slavery is the
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were described as brown, blue and gray. people couldn't even decide what color his eyes were he was mysterious men. he was charming and gracious and funny and totally beguiling and his husband who is the editor of the national intelligence newspaper company and says mr. jefferson nine sorry i'm late. and her head explodes because this is supposed to be the embodiment of everything that is wrong in american life, and she great standing conviction. it's not an indictment, it is a conviction before the bar of history. i think that he sort of knew that frankly treat he tried as a very young man four or five times he lost decisively and in public and the two things politicians don't like doing is losing decisively in public. about 1785 he gave up very on characteristic pity he couldn't imagine in the end of doing away with the system that had made his life possible to read the just found him to be the most gracious man she had ever met. he could disarm you that way. there is something poetic and the fact that william jefferson clinton is william jefferson clinton. [laughter] by the way, president clinton is still campaigning somewhere. [laughter] i don't know how anyone is going to tell him who voted. maybe he is already starting on the next one. first memory was being handed up on a pillow to the sleeve on a horse as his family went on a journey on of the last things that happened in his life is he's lying in his bed at monticello, he's uncomfortable and traced to signal to his family how to make him comfortable. no one understood except an enslaved butler who knew exactly what he needed and shifted the pillow and made him comfortable. from the beginning to the end, slavery need thomas jefferson possible. and in the end, she failed to
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but i want to talk a little bit -- jefferson the politician, jefferson the renaissance man, jefferson the symbol, secessionists wanted a piece of him in the run-up to the civil war, franklin roosevelt wanted him for the new deal and world war ii, he's like winston churchill in the bible he can be used in any way that you need partly because he was so articulate and so proliferate. 20,000 or more letters. have the imagination or the capacity to reform and abolish and correct the institution that is done in direct violation to the words that he had written. if we expect people in the past to be perfect, as i said, we are not going to learn from them. arthur schlesinger eustis a vessels righteousness in retrospect is easy to see what brilliantly written, wonderfully eloquent. so what can we make of it? this is the man, the human being we have, and that's what i always want to get to answering president kennedy's question of what was he like, and in the service of trying to figure this out, i asked for and was granted permission to sleep in jefferson's bedroom one night on a pallet on the floor i hasten the hell were they doing in our own time. clinton said this, coming to a theater near you this isn't daniel day-lewis, he said this of jefferson. all honor to jefferson to the man who in the concrete pressure in the struggle for national independence had the cool
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to add and i wanted to hear how the clock sounded. jefferson always said he woke when he could start to make out the hands of the clock and the sun hadn't caught me in bed in more than 40 years and i wanted to see if that is one of the things as dean acheson said no one comes out second best in their own memoir whether that was actually true, a brilliant point for secretary acheson by the way. forecast and capacity, so the great blurb of all time to introduce into a revolutionary document an abstract truth applicable to all men and all times that today and in all coming days it should be a stumbling block to the very signs of reappearing tyranny and oppression. jefferson put something in motion. his words put something in motion and his deeds protected as the sun rises over the southwestern mountains of virginia, the first place light hits is his bed. he designed the house so that she would be able to to absorb the light, began the day, and for the journey as soon as it was physically and humanly and naturally possible. later that day i wandered down to the cemetery with the famous the country in the experiment. lincoln saved him, tiahrt, fdr managed to internationalize it. the story of america is always on folding and is always provisional. but by and large we have been lucky with these human beings who managed to transcend the flaw may be just for 15 minutes sometimes, but those are an important 15 minutes. i will leave you with this.
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mr. action epitaph and realized quite by accident the last place on the mountain where the sun shines is his grave. so it is so like jefferson to soak up every last hour every moment of energy and a flight. so what do we make of this man who was so eager to increase the day to enjoy it and to endure as long as he did? jefferson was driven by this idea. the life of the lighted the life of the country were inexplicably linked into the purpose of humanity was to discover, to innovate, to learn everything we could because there were so many mysteries to unlock. he put the artifacts from the lewis and clark expedition in the room in the white house and invited people to come in. he also put to grisly cubs on - we have to see him for what he was. he was a working politician. here is what george washington wrote to jefferson and hamilton and they're relatively rough early days in the cabin at in the 79 peace wendi as jefferson put we were put in the cabinet like cops at each other's throats. here's washington. however unfortunate while we are encompassed on all sides with avowed enemies and insidious the white house lawn and that didn't work out quite as well. the was cut against the whole bipartisan thing depending on who they mauled. but the discovery, innovation, spirit better than today. this wasn't just happy talk letter after letter and storm after stride in crisis jefferson returned to the fema again and again and again and often the was the only thing you had to hold on to was hope because the
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trends that internal dissensions should be hearing and tearing our titles. harrowing and tearing our titles it's a very vivid phrase jon adams in the same era said jefferson's mind is poisoned with passion, prejudice and faction. hamilton said of jefferson this is how well it worked, hamilton said of jefferson anyone who fact of the matter as jon adams said was stubborn things and they were always moving in directions of this is what he said later in life. i have observed the march of civilization advancing from the seacoast passing over like a cloud of light increasing our knowledge and improving our condition and where this progress will stop, no one can say and so we move on. thanks very much. [applause] cares about the liberty of the country and the welfare of the nation with great despair among jefferson's ascendance to the presidency, and jefferson with a fairly formidable and outreach to his friend said i will not suffer the slanders of a man for the moment at which history can stoop to notice him is a tissue of machinations against the liberty of the country which is not only received and given him thanks for the delightful talk and i assure the book will be just as good. this will seem like an odd question that at the end you were talking about progress and jefferson's curiosity. he was a francophile. one of the things set in motion was the french revolution. what did he think of that?
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bread, but needs honor on his head. hamilton responded by saying he was a fanatic public and atheist and religion and an anonymous letter writer from the camp once wrote jefferson i think you ought to get a kicking you've redheaded son of a bitch. [laughter] so, i know karl rove wants to think that he invented all of this but we have been fighting these battles for a long time. >> well, as ever it depends on when you ask him. the french revolution he was caught up in many ways in the drama of the early years lafayette and others met at his house and there is some debate about the role in the declaration and the rights of man but one thing that's important to remember is when he came back in '79 with sally so, jefferson himself saw that we were all going to be divided. she said men have divided themselves over the opinions of whether the interest of the many were of the nobles should govern the affairs of men. she was looking back to greece and rome and the founding to figure out to figure out how much of the divided opinion as hemingses and his daughters and reached norfolk there was word he was the secretary of state in the papers and she finally got washington's letter when he was at having to on the way to monticello, and he had gotten into a small tug-of-war with washington on whether he would become secretary of state, and as ever, james madison, who was kind of shivers and's and acknowledged spouse, she would read the letters that he wrote and say ehh to read to call him
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natural, how much is on natural and how do you manage and try to do what you can with what we have in his answer was in theory he would want to go back to monticello. you know those wonderful quotations. we all know them. if i could only be with my books and my farm and my family and at peace and rest of monticello. well, you know the road was open, she could have gone in new his axelrod is to state. madison did a lot there. by the time he got to new york france and the revolution had already become this hugely important issue domestically in american politics. but everybody in the early days was for it, even jon marshall said everyone believed that our revolutions were linked, and he york, philadelphia, richmond, paris, london, holland. he was everywhere the action was. he was irresistibly drawn to it because it has a young man he entered into what he called the board election between submission and the sword. the american revolution shaped him and grabbed him in the way that few historical defense i think have grabbed any generation or any man. i think that he thought of the revolution actually almost as an pressed for the pro disposition and the washington administration as he could get. as it grew more violent and more violent he wishes he had grown more exquisitely skeptical, but he tended to idealize what had happened. i think because he was there and then he wasn't if that makes sense. i think that he had -- i don't mean to sound odd about this but i think that he had observed the
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organic thing almost as a child than as an adopted or created by this group of men who would preserve it and make it and nurture and feed it and get it all along the way and make sure its adolescence had survived its adolescence and could grow up and could continue to thrive. i think the connection to the revolution and promise of liberty for jefferson is that intimate and that human. to the end of his days he and possibilities in a sensuous and tactile way key smelled of the smell of liberty. then he left and was somehow easier to idealize it even after the violence had started the and if he hadn't been there at all. so i think the smell of the chestnuts and the guillotine for fighting with each other. i don't know what a guillotine really smells like or means but i just say that. adams corresponded about a revolution goes quite proprietary not in a bad way that in a quite paternal because they cared about the definition of america and the survival and success of america. they did that what drove jefferson this case is the fear that would be swallowed up as a free of the revolution virtually in the world had been by the but he should have been harder on the extremism of the french revolution then he paused. but even in those letters he wrote all should expire every 20 years it was always in context and something that was more practical and hard-headed ultimately than it seems when we read the one line or to.
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forces of reaction. i argue in the book that it's impossible life and to understand early american history without seeing the period between the end of the french and indian war and 7063 and the end of the war in 1815 as a 50 year war with britain sometimes hot and sometimes cold but always there. in precise analogy but it would be writing about washington, adams, jefferson, hamilton the renaissance man reminds me strangely enough of the 1988 presidential campaign between dukakis of bush 41. >> i get that all the time. i was a professor of mathematics without reference to this struggle. i think would be like riding but truman, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, carter, ronald reagan and not mentioning the soviet union. the foreign policy was that significant and his domestic ramifications were that significant. jefferson was terrified the british were coming back. the good thing about this argument is that they did. so you win the argument. the war of 1812 happened and so we had to have a ratifying at the university of massachusetts in amherst and i remember bush who graduated from yale boasted how she got an f in chemistry in the dukakis coming back weekly said he only got a d in physics. and then at the same time i was reading from jefferson's library of america and there she is an 79 writing a letter that she was
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conflict which jefferson always suspected and i think. i think in some ways the inevitable result is the unlikely victory we won in the first place, this on the coastal republika that managed to defeat the empire. jefferson wanted us to see him as a -- to see himself as a defender and parent of the awarded an al-marri doctor of mali but he was living in france so he writes to joseph willard thinking him for the agreed to leave could agree and here's what amazes me as a mathematician. he's commenting now in addition to just thinking for the degree he gives an overview of science technology and mathematics in europe. here is what he says. revolution in the sense that the great articulator of the principles of republican liberty in he was that, but he was also an awfully good vote getter and deal cutter and - that's okay because as jefferson himself said its best to give and take in a system like ours and without mutual concessions, the republic itself would crack and crumble and be vulnerable to the a very remarkable work. he's a lot to be the to mathematician equal to his science. the object of his work is to reduce the principles and the mechanics to the single one. then he goes on to apologize for not being able to read it. this would require a calculus. i was a math major and i had two
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kind of reaction, the kind of returning monarchies, we didn't say that word a lot in chattanooga, not enough any way that would put the whole american experiment at risk. when he was on his deathbed he years of physics. we don't deviate couldn't get to mechanics until the senior years of 200 years later still not up to the mechanics there is thomas jefferson discoursing and understood and here's an incredible example of the renaissance copies. finally she ends the letter. here is the impact of his views on educating young men and women in the country. spinach he believed that enlightenment and education were essential to democracy because democracy and a republican is some were only as good as the people who were in the republic or in the democracy and that he believed in says the ability, and if we knew each other and if we didn't like each of derby at least had to be neighbors and
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carry enough about what happened to the ever-present we would make a mutual concessions the would make a public work. so in that sense the was a key republican virtue. we believe firmly in education that if we were going to have a system where the will of enlighten the majority was to prevail, which was his hope, you had to have an enlightened majority coming and his first inaugural which is i think jefferson's first inaugural and lincoln's second coming and kennedy i think are probably the three most significant i would argue and he says that the majority must be allowed to prevail as long as the rights of the minority are protected. it is one of those -- it is a complicated thought that it is essentials to the american sense of argument and working together. by founding the university of virginia he was trying to create a regional institution or
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natural institution that in the region to stop sending virginia both to harvard and the northeastern schools and to transylvania and kentucky. i'm a graduate of the university of the south in tennessee which is a combination of revisited and deliverance we think of it as the county. thank you. i am married to a graduate from virginia so i say that a lot. [laughter] >> thank you for coming. jefferson question and obama question. during jefferson's the fourth time a lot of new territory came into the united states and the question of whether it would be slave or free what are the political factions there were kind of tugging at jefferson and what political considerations ultimately led to the decision of whether the new territory would be coming and the question
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on charlie rose you talked about these dinners the president has for journalists and historians. what do you talk about? what does he say to you and what you say to him? >> i've never been invited, so i don't know. [laughter] you are right. we looked a lot alike. [laughter] as i like to save my guys died along time ago. [laughter] jody has been riding on this in the times and i think it's what i've heard about the dinner is like all presidents, you get behind the desk which is an unparalleled experience as president kennedy said to the great historian donald comes in the and there is some of the rankings and kennedy didn't like it and he said no one and he
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pointed at his desk he said no one has the right to judge anyone even poor james buchanan. [laughter] who hasn't sat at the desk and seen what he's seen and dealt with what he has dealt with and i think there is a lot to that pivotal in the louisiana purchase, the louisiana purchase led to the first sustained secession of thinking and movement in american history which is new england because new england saw the future and they didn't like it. it's a little bit light i have three children and my son and then we had a second daughter and then we were having a third and found out it was going to be a girl and my son said to me we are going to be outnumbered and i don't like our chances. [laughter] and he was right.
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timothy pickering didn't like his chances and jefferson had the last time he tried to do anything significant about slavery was in '84, '85 when he wrote an ordinance for the organization of the existing territories slavery would be prohibited and lost by a single vote in the confederation congress and one of those wonderful phrases, he said, i think was a delegate from new jersey who didn't make, i think that was set. he said for lack of a single voice they hung in the balance and heaven was silent in that moment. so he knew this was wrong. that is part of the contradiction we have to deal with. we the new the system he lived in an perpetuated was so evil so
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louisiana opened the stage for what became the great battle of the legend of the civil war. the politics were let's rock along. the politics of almost every era are let's rock along so that's what it did but unquestionably the louisiana purchase was a critical step in the security and the size of the country that ultimately on the road to the civil war. >> i guess it took a lot of discipline to cut this book to less than 2,000 pages. they have added things that may be covered by other authors. for instance, the irony of adams and jefferson dolley on the same day and thinking jefferson and his jefferson to lewis and clark to look for the amount of salt a mile high and that's good times rolling on the plains.
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what is the anecdotes that you most would have liked to put in the book? >> that is a great question. there is a director's cut. [laughter] a cut 70,000 words out of andrew jackson, and i don't know where they are now. [laughter] so this one was was tough. let me answer this way. i think it's a good sign. i choose to see it this way when you're finished with things there are things you wished you had discussed which was a little bit more of what i can think of the second coming and i wish in retrospect now that i had looked at how the fault of edmund burke in the jefferson intersected and clashed at the various points because in many ways jefferson was a perky -- burkian we don't
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have it in our power to do it over again. we are always reforming in the building and part of the jefferson was totally pragmatic in that way. he said the nation should never take on more than the nation is ready to bear. so in that sense he was quite pragmatic and then he had his moments where he would write to joseph priestley this whole chapter in the history of man is new the hole expands is new and to have these exuberant hours my sense is the truth is in a way that he saw the world was that he was driven by the sense of optimism but would take a pragmatic steps to preserve the possibilities that that optimism created and they would have disagreed so radically. they did disagree so radically on the french revolution that i wished that i had gone into that.
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it is perhaps one definition of dorkdom that one would wish one had spent more time on edmund burke. [laughter] so i'm not really sure if i appreciate your making me out myself quite so vividly. [laughter] but thank you. [laughter] utah to the jefferson's fox and his role in perpetuating slavery and i wonder how he would evaluate his thinking and his action regarding american indians. >> he was complicity in the tragedies of american life. the removal of native americans. andrew jackson gets the lion's share of the blame but one of my arguments about jackson was and
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is jackson may have been on the extreme edge of the mainstream but he was in the mainstream on this issue. congress had a great battle over the indian removal in 18:30 a.m. he was one of the most ferocious legislative battles of the first 60 years of the republic but then they never revisited. they fought it out, the jackson administration won and that was that so jefferson set up a predicate and was a president for what ultimately happened. you know the only person who comes out well enough story is someone who is very little known, the first secretary of the war that created a very good humane plan. president washington went to the
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senate and it didn't go well. as washington left the kind of committee meeting, he said i will be damned if i ever go there again and i think i'm right saying the next president who went and met in that way was gerald ford. so that must have been one hell of a conversation about the indian removal. very simply put, white people had more power and they wanted the land and they were going to take it. i grew up on a missionary ridge a battlefield that was 400 yards from the headquarters which is how sherman got to georgia and about two and a half miles that way was jon ross's house, and that's american history right there in many ways. and there is no excusing it. there is some explaining it, but i think it is pretty much a
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story agreed and power and southerners and westerners became resentful of the new englanders and the northeast as the morrill part of this became more pronounced in the 1830's with jeremiah and others but the argument in the south and west is that is easy enough for them, they have already driven their indians this way to be as it was a brutal clash but one in which very little -- not much good can be said except for henry knox. >> we have time for two more questions. >> i have one more. >> you mentioned briefly jefferson's the five exchanges of hamilton which were defined as and correctly they were difficult. and nonetheless, hamilton played a major role in the development of the american economy.
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and i wonder if you could give some thought. what importance does he attached to it and what contribution he might have made. >> it's a wonderful question. basically because jefferson was so eloquent on the virtue of the agrarianism and the wonders of farming and the importance of that, he has been i think unfairly caricatured as he was the agrarian and alexander hamilton was who understood that they were going to be a commercial and manufacturing economy as a for the truth somewhere in between, jefferson naturally towards the end of his life at monticello the only thing making money was a nail factory, so he was a
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manufacturer. he said all the world is becoming commercial. he supported the bigot canal project particularly before he was an office in early on that they wrote a broad and vicious report on the general improvement in these very human moments he said once that people seem to think i am only a farmer and only care about farming without realizing that i might care about how we dispose for what we grow. we believe very much and what have adapted to changing circumstances as history unfolded. thank you. it jefferson were president now
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and being the lover of the land and being such a will lee individual and such a visionary how do you think they would handle the global warming situation and politicians these days? >> thank you all for coming. [laughter] >> i wish that gentleman laos have anything else to ask about hamilton? help us out here. here are two thoughts. one is you can never answer a question like that. i don't know what jefferson would have done about the fiscal cliff, so one thing we can the answer is the principles, with stories about his own political career might have some bearing and years and the first reading hansard. i think intellectually and scientifically he would have been without or she would love and inconvenient truth because
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the science, the kind of renaissance man and energy that he brings to that issue and analyzing both of the civilization all and scientific and climatological and economic only as happy as he could be analyzing all about and i can see lots of charts on the wall. that someone coming to get beat. [laughter] on the other hand so there's that there's already a question in washington about conservation of the trees on capitol hill. basically capitol hill was awarded on one side and the creek was running at the bottom. basically farmers, timber were coming and cutting down trees on public land. they were upset like this very
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big deal and margaret smith had dinner one night what should we do? we need to save these trees they said yes, yes we should but we cannot be regulating everything that happens. so where would he have ended up there? what he has been adam smith or private enterprise and you have to let the market decide or would he have forced a public reaction to what we clearly saw as a scientific and real climatological problem. i have to think that the science went out because i can see them trying to make their own powerpoint so his would be better. thank you very much. [applause]